We had a lovely Christmas and I hope everyone else out there did, too. Even though I had my camera with me for the whole Christmasday festivities and post-Christmas, through-the-blizzard, take-the-daughter-back-to-Massachusetts trip I neglected to take a single picture! On the bright side...this post won't take long to load!
So...what was your favorite present? I can tell you what mine was....Mr. Pointy Sticks gave me the three-volume Complete Calvin and Hobbes! It was a complete surprise to me, even though he bought it at a Barnes and Noble when I was there shopping with him! I do remember him waving me away when he was buying something in the CD/DVD department and as I wandered away I thought, "Oh, he must be buying me some more Tchaikovsky!" (We had discovered that we were short of said composer in our music collection.) Then I thought, "But we've gotten Nutcracker and Swan Lake and Winter Dreams...what else would he think to get me? Ooooh, maybe they have the Fantasia DVD set!" Then I stopped thinking about it... What was even funnier (and more nerve-racking for Mr. Pointy Sticks) was that I got into line to check out up at the front of the store and he, unbeknownest to me, had started out of the store to stick the Calvin and Hobbes collection in the car. Only he set off the theft detector and had to go to the front counter (where, mind you, I am waiting in line), have the salesclerk wrestle the huge collection out of the bag and desensitize it, wrestle it back into the bag...whereupon, when Mr. Pointy Sticks picked it up, the handles broke off. The salesclerk was trying to get the box into a new bag but Mr. Pointy Sticks just grabbed the old bag (no, not me...the book) and hustled out to the car, all hunched over (he says) and trying to hold on to this massively heavy -- and slippery -- bag. And I was still in the line...completely oblivious to all the commotion. (And this collection really is heavy! I had it on my lap after I opened it and was sitting at such an angle that I had to ask Mr. Pointy Sticks to come over and pick it up for me before I could stand up!)
Another wonderful gift, in contention for favorite gift of the year, was from Rachel, who bought me a puzzle by Chris Yates. I was going to link to a picture of my puzzle, but he's taken it down from his page. It's an elephant as an @ sign. Trust me, it's very cute. She met him (and bought a truck-load of puzzles from him) at the Webcomics convention this past fall. Anyway, Yates cuts the puzzles from wood, by hand, and paints them in these lovely, rich, speckledy colors. They are a joy to work. And Rachel says he's a very nice guy.
We had a lovely afternoon/evening with my dad and step-mom and brother. More presents and a yummy dinner...my brother made his cheese grits, my step-mom cooked the ham and the carrots and a baked apple dish, I made Green Potatoes from Sweden at my brother's request and they were both easy and delicious. (Also made some tasty broccoli that involved sauteing some garlic and pancetta (though I used tiny proscuitto cubes by mistake) and then tossing in the broccoli until it was crisp-tender....yum!) Since we were heading out the next day for Massachusetts, I left all the left-overs with my dad and he enjoyed them...made the potatoes into potato pancakes one morning, which was something I was thinking about all the way to Massachusetts in the car on Sunday.
The trip up north was fun. We were racing in front of the blizzard until northern New Jersey where it caught up with us. It snowed more and more heavily until New Haven, where we were pretty much in blizzard conditions. Fortunately, we headed north at that point and began out-running the storm again...the snow was considerably lighter. In fact, when we pulled into the hotel parking lot about 3 p.m., it wasn't snowing at all. I asked the desk clerk when it was supposed to start and she said, "I thought it was supposed to start about now." And sure enough, we got up to the room, looked out the window, and there was the snow!
Monday morning we picked up Cooper at the vet. I'm sure the poor animal thought he was being taken to yet another home (Rachel is his third owner). He seemed very happy to come out of his carrier in the home he knew. He was very affectionate this visit...actually sat on Mr. Pointy Sticks' lap for a while. Got some shopping done and thermal curtains put up in Rachel's room. Rachel cooked us a wonderful roast chicken dinner and we sat around eating and watching some ridiculous shows on HGTV...young couples buying their first houses...and paying $600,000!!! Unbelievable.
Tuesday's trip home was uneventful but l-o-o-o-o-n-g. Took us 9 hours rather than the usual 7. No real snow problems, just incredibly heavy traffic volume. We were happy to see home again. And our furry monsters seemed happy to see us.
Sorry for the lack of photographic evidence of any of this...I'm a lousy blogger.